Message Number: YG1055 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Noelle Bochichio
Date: 2001-03-10 19:02:00 UTC
Subject: Re: More on dehydration

Dear Dr. Williams,

If SQ fluids are not immediately available, what is your
recommendation for treating a mildy dehydrated ferret with

Thanks, Noelle

> Message: 6
> Date: Sat, 10 Mar 2001 05:21:52 -0000
> From: "Bruce Williams, DVM"
> Subject: More on dehydration
> Due to the relative inelasticity of ferret skin, I have
> believed that the skin turgor test, which works very well in
dogs and
> cats, is not a good test for the lower ranges of dehydration
> ferrets. As vets, we look at animals somewhat in this
fashion - 5%
> dehydrated, 8% dehydrated, 10% dehydrated. In dogs, the
skin, when
> tented, only slowly snaps back when dehydration is present -

> somewhat slow at 5%, noticeably slow at 8%, and hardly at
all at 10%
> or higher. Cats are fairly similar.
> But mildly dehydrated ferrets at 5% have minimal changes in
> turgor, and skin turgor will only pick up some of them at
> Usually at 10% it works well, but heck - everyone can tell
> is wrong by then.
> I have learned to gauge the lower registers of dehydration
> (broderline cases at 5% or slightly above) more by assessing
> than using skin turgor. I f I have a ferret that is very
> and is either not taking in any food and water, or has a
diarrheal or
> vomiting condition where I know they are losing fluids, I
usually go
> ahead and administer SQ fluids. Many, many fererts do much
> afterward. Fluids can be a lifesaver, and they can also turn
around a
> lot of cases that ust aren't giving a good response to
> treatment. With care to avoid over-administering fluids to
a case
> which may not be able to handle it, such as a severe
> or some cases of renal shutdown, fluids are some of the most

> important therapies at our disposal.
> I strongly encourage all owners to instruct their clients
with ill
> ferrets how to give SQ fluids at home, and all vets to teach
> With kindest regards,
> Bruce H. Williams, DVM, DACVP
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